Today’s Saint

Daily Journey with the Saints

April 16 | Spiritual Awareness

Saint Bernadette Soubirous

A.D. 1844–1879

Would you like to grow in spiritual awareness?

The virtue of spiritual awareness is marked by a sensitivity to the presence of God. It makes us mindful of how different people, things, and experiences unite us with God or draw us away from Him.

The problem is we have lost our spiritual senses. We are no longer able to recognize the presence of God. Our spiritual senses have been dulled and drowned out by the chaos of our lives.

How do we regain our spiritual awareness? There is one way that’s guaranteed to work: embrace quiet time in prayer. Prayer awakens our spiritual senses, and we become aware of God at our side throughout the day.

Saint Bernadette Soubirous was born in 1844 in Lourdes, France. She grew up in tragic poverty and constantly struggled with poor health, but these hardships made her focus all the more on her inner prayer life. 

She was usually behind in her classes at school, and her teachers often picked on her for her lack of formal learning. But those closest to Bernadette realized there was something different about her: She had an intensely intimate relationship with God. Little did they know that soon the Mother of God herself would appear to Bernadette.

One day, while gathering firewood for her family, Bernadette spotted a beautiful lady in a grotto near Lourdes. This was the first of many visions that would change not only Bernadette’s life but the lives of thousands of others. 

Bernadette faced constant doubt and even threats of imprisonment from the local officials, but she was spiritually aware enough to know that God was speaking to her through this “lady” (who later revealed herself as Mary). What the world thought didn’t matter to her. All that mattered was these messages from Heaven. 

Bernadette’s spiritual attentiveness didn’t only benefit herself. Mary told Bernadette to dig a well one day, and she did. Soon, water started flowing up to the surface to form a spring. Today, six million pilgrims visit this spring every year seeking healing and grace through the water at Lourdes. To date, the Catholic Church has officially recognized 70 miraculous healings, having assigned scientists to investigate each one and conclude that there is absolutely no rational explanation for the healing. At least 7,000 unconfirmed healings have been reported. 

And it all started with Saint Bernadette’s spiritual awareness.

Amazing things happen when we’re spiritually aware. But first, we have to grow that spiritual awareness through prayer. Why not start today?


Every time I pray, I become more spiritually aware.

This reflection is brought to you from book title.

Patron Saint of: Bodily Illness, Lourdes, Against Poverty, Shepherds, and People Ridiculed for their Faith

Symbols: A Rosary and a Candle 

Feast Day Shared By: Saint Benedict Joseph Labre

Canonized: December 8, 1933

Canonized By: Pope Pius XI

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